30 Days With Wesley – Day 9: It Is All About Love

30 Days with Wesley(Optional Reading: Jeremiah 15:16)

It is hard to find any aspect of Christian living that is not rooted in a response to the love of God. It is all about love. Today, I wanted to give you the chance to sit and reflect upon some parts of the 30 Days with Wesley book. Please read these statement below and let God speak to you through them. Also, this is my last post on 30 Days of Wesley for a week. I am going on vacation and will not have access to technology or the internet, but I will continue once I return home.

God I pray blessings on us today as we reflect on these prayers. Help us to love like you and let your love transform our lives.

 

Prayer:

“O our God, fill our souls with so entire a love of you that we may love nothing but for your sake.”

Intercessions:

“To the One who extends his loving-kindness to all humanity, let us pray,

O Lord, make us the pattern of your love.

Let us treat all our neighbors with that tender love due to your children.

O Lord, make us the pattern of your love.

Grant that we may assist all our brothers and sisters with our prayers when we cannot reach them with actual services.

O Lord, make us the pattern of your love.

Make us zealous to take every opportunity to assist the needy, protect the oppressed, instruct the ignorant, and steady the wavering.

O Lord, make us the pattern of your love.”

(30 Days of Wesley, Pg 41)

 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

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30 Days With Wesley – Day 8: Identity Order

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(Optional Reading: Ezekiel 36:25-28)

What is your identity order? We all have one. In my senior year of college, I worked as a barista at Starbucks. On every Starbucks cup there are six little boxes. Each box represents something different, and something you had to learn very quickly was how to read the markings on a Starbucks cup and be able to call out a drink properly.

I don’t know if Starbucks still trains this way or not, but to properly describe your drink, you explain everything you want in each box from the top to the bottom. I would yell out things like, “We need a Decaf, Non-fat, Latte for Luke!” or when people were really ambitious, “We need a Triple shot, six pump vanilla, non-fat, with whip Latte.” Before some coffee pro yells at me in the comments, trust me, I know that Lattes are all about the foam on top, but people would order whip on Lattes a lot. It blew my mind.

Each drink had an proper order to what it was. In life, we have things I call Identity orders. What are you known for and in what order? I try to live by the one at the top of this webpage. It says, “Christian – Husband – Father – Church Leader.” This is a order identity. 

As Christians, we need to find our identity within Jesus and then everything else falls under that. The key question we need to ask ourselves is, where does Jesus fall within our identity order. It is really a question of priority. 

God may we live a life that centers around you. May you be the foundation for our identity and understanding of who we are.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 7: The Journey That Counts

path-of-recognition(Optional Reading: 2 Peter 1:10-11)

Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s not the destination that matter. It’s how you get there that counts.” Christian living is a journey. It is a process that we go through of becoming purified and made new in Jesus. For me, I do not like when Heaven is used as a reason to become a Christian. People say things like, “Well you don’t want to go to hell… so you should be a Christian so you can go to heaven.” This is still true but I think we get caught up on the destination and sometimes forget to focus on the journey.

2 Peter 1:3-11 states: 

“By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory. Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces.

 This is why you must make every effort to add moral excellence to your faith; and to moral excellence, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, godliness; and to godliness, affection for others; and to affection for others, love. If all these are yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from becoming inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever lacks these things is shortsighted and blind, forgetting that they were cleansed from their past sins.

 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be eager to confirm your call and election. Do this and you will never ever be lost. In this way you will receive a rich welcome into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ”

Christianity is about becoming like Jesus in our lives. It is about living out the Lord’s prayer. The journey of Christian living is about God transforming our lives into a new creations so that we bring God’s Kingdom to earth in our daily interactions with people around us. Christianity is not about getting our golden ticket into heaven and then sitting on our hands and waiting until we die. That doesn’t sound like a very fulfilled life (John 10:10).

As a Christian, heaven is our final destination. But I believe we need to live a life where heaven is the reward for the Jesus shaped life that we live here on earth. Heaven is not a goal, heaven is a reward. So, lets live to bring God’s Kingdom today.

 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days with Wesley – Day 6: Always Forgives & Always Forgets

30 Days with Wesley(Optional Reading: Ephesians 4:29-32)

The guided prayer this morning focused on the subject of God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is truly mind blowing to me. We serve a God that will forgive us every time we sin, and every time He forgives us He forgets our sin. It is truly unfathomable how God is able to completely let go of all that we have done in sin. 

God always forgives and always forgets because He desperately wants to be in a relationship with us. By relationship, I mean that God wants to be involved in every part of our lives. A relationship with God means daily praying and inviting God into every moment of thought and every interaction we have during the day. This is what God desires.

The dilemma we face, as people who sin, is that sin causes a break in relationship with God. God never gives up on us though. He is daily pursuing us and drawing us out of our life of sin and brokenness. Once we see God and give him all our sin, God completely forgives and completely forgets. Then God works in our hearts to call us to a holy life, because it is in this holy life that God helps us become the exact person He desires us to be. This understanding is found all through the Bible.

“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:9

“The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” John 10:10

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25

“You must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy. It is written, You will be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:5

 

“Oh God, now that you have renewed our lives and our mercies to us this morning, help us to renew our desires, resolutions, and efforts to live in obedience to your holy will.” (30 Days with Wesley, pg 29)

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 4: Prayer and Forgiveness

15_John_Wesley_108(Optional Reading: Matthew 6:7)

Are you willing to forgive? That is the question that remains in my mind at the end of my time of prayer. Each day of prayer has an optional scripture reading that goes with the directed prayer for that day. I have been posting the optional readings at the beginning of each post of my 30 day journey with Wesley. Today’s optional reading is what stuck with me the most.

I am not a fan of reading one verse and calling it good. Because of this, I ending up reading Matthew 6:7-14. Within this passage, Jesus gives us two impacting statements and one amazing tool.

It is within this passage that Jesus gives us the tool of the Lord’s Prayer (As written at the bottom of this post). He instructs the disciples to pray the Lord’s prayer in response to a statement in verse 7. “When you pray, don’t pour out a flood of empty words, as the Gentiles do. They think that by saying many words they’ll be heard.” 

When we pray, we do not need to worry about what words we use. Prayer is all about communication and praise. In my local church, we commonly describe prayer as a conversation between two friends. You don’t need to fancy it is up because you are talking to God. Rather, simply talk as if you were talking to your best friend.

After explaining the Lord’s prayer, Jesus makes a second statement. Jesus says, “If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.”

Talk about a line in the sand. This is a huge statement. It is a statement that needs to daily shape and affect your life. The same message is found in the parable of the unforgiving servant later in Matthew (Matthew 18:21-35). Simply put, to be forgiven, you must forgive. I find it very interesting that these statements about prayer and forgiveness are found in the same conversation. It is as if Jesus is saying, “Don’t put on a show and try and look holy by praying with big fancy words. Rather pray this simple prayer that covers all your needs. But if you doing all of this and any you haven’t forgiven someone, then you don’t really get it.”

Perhaps we need to realize that prayer and forgiveness should go together.

What do you think about this idea of prayer and forgiveness working together? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.

God may we live a life of constant forgiveness. May we not make our prayers into a show. May we not feel like we need to make our speech fancy for you. But may we simply pray the prayer you have instructed us to pray and live by it.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 3: Count Your Blessings

john-wesley-1(Optional Reading: Romans 13:11-14)

I have a confession to make. I am an American. This might not come as a shock to you but it is true. Part of being American means I live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. This fact sometimes hinders me in my self reflections. James 1:17 states, “Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all.” So as a Christian, I believe that all good things come from God. They are blessings from God.

  Here is where it gets tricky for me. I am an American. I have a great job. I live in a house. I never go a day without food. A lot of these things I have obtained because of my actions of working and getting paid, then going out and purchasing these things.

Now, before you get upset, I am not trying to say that everything I have has not come from God. I am trying to show how it is difficult at times to remember that God is the giver of all Good things. At times, I forget to give God the credit for the blessings He has given me, because the blessing is a result of things I chose to do, but they are still a blessing from God.

If you are like me and have this same struggle. I think it is good to go back to the basics. What are the foundations of life and living that go unnoticed in our everyday lives. Then give God praise for those things.

I thank you for air and the ability to breath.

I thank you for a mind that can think and rationalize.

I thank you for the ability to move and talk.

I thank you for the ability to make choices.

I thank you for the skills I have that give me the ability to work and provide for my family.

I thank you for my family.

I thank you for saving me from my sin.

 

God may we live a life of constant thanksgiving. In the times that we forgive to give you praise, will you remind us of all the blessings you have give to us that we need to live from day to day. Thank you for sending your son to set us free from our lives of sin and destruction. Thank you for love us so deeply.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 2: God the Creator & Savior

30 Days with Wesley(Optional Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13)

The focus of today’s prayers was on majesty of God. Even though the prayers were similar to yesterday’s, I felt as if they were focused on a different aspect of God’s greatness. This is the beauty of scripture being used as prayers. It might mean or emphasize something different to each person the reads and prays the passage.

Today I felt the focus turn to aspect of God the Creator and Savior. Yesterday I wrote and shared how I feel Christians, including myself, sometimes forget the true majesty of God. God is part of every moment of our lives. He becomes like a good friend (which is a good thing), but the side effect is that we forget that our friend is THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE! You know what I mean? 

The prayers today reminded me of the amazing truth that my friend is THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE. Though at the same time, He is the God who came down to this earth and died to save me. Further, this GOD OF THE UNIVERSE loves me so much and wants to be apart of every little detail of my life. 

Perhaps, this is the true example of God’s majesty. THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE is so full of grace, mercy, hope, compassion and unstoppable love, He seeks after us as damaged and lost people to help restore us and be in relationship with us. 

 

God may we remember that you are the God of the universe. You are the God that created all and yet you seek us out. You desire the best for us. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your hope and your compassion. Thank you for your unstoppable love that can soften hearts and change lives. May we live our lives today in a humble response to your grace, mercy, hope, compassion and love.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.